KURDISH ACADEMICS DISCUSS THEIR VISION FOR A DEMOCRATIC SOLUTION TO THE CRISIS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Summary and Final Resolution of the International Conference

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In cooperation with:
KURD AKAD

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 THE TURKISH INVASION OF AFRIN:

 At European Parliament, Brussels, 28 June 2018

 The International Conference was hosted and organized by the 

Greens-European Free Alliance (Greens-EFA), The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), European United Left–Nordic Green Left (GUE-NGL) political groups in the European Parliament.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE CONFERENCE

Thursday 28 June an important conference on the Turkish invasion on Afrin took place in the European Parliament, Brussels. The main goal of the conference was to ensure the participation of academics in a larger important discussion on the role of the intellectuals for a democratic solution of the problems in Kurdistan and the Middle East.

 For the first time, an international conference brought together Kurdish and European academics to speak about- and discuss their visions for a democratic solution to the crisis in the Middle East. Kurdish academics from all parts of Kurdistan and academics from several European universities and research institutions met for one day in Brussels. This meeting provided a historical opportunity to discuss the role and responsibility Kurdish and European academics have, and challenges and obstacles connected to research on Kurds and Kurdish issues, in Kurdistan, the Middle East and diaspora. Particular attention was given to the crisis enfolding inside the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, Rojava, Bakur and Basur (KRG, Northern Iraq).

 There were several sessions, each focusing on a different aspect of the ongoing crisis, with titles ranging from “The Colonial Ambitions of the Turkish State,” to “The Silence of the International Community on Turkish Aggression and EU Bilateral Relations with Turkey,” to “New Circumstances, Challenges and Problems for Democratization.”  The day ended with an open discussion among participants and academics in the audience about the obstacles, opportunities and obligations of Kurdish and European-based academics to take a more vocal and effective stand in favour of a democratic and peaceful solution to the Kurdish question. 

 Among the highlights of the closing session was the launch of a new website, the Komun Academy (https://komun-academy.com/), a platform intended to facilitate dialogue among activists, academics, and broader publics about the democratic confederal project. 

 The FINAL RESOLUTION passed at the conference reads as follows:

 THE CONFERENCE RECOMMENDATIONS AND DEMANDS

 We consider the occupation of Afrin to be illegal and contrary to the principles and aims of the United Nations and to international law. Thus, we condemn all the practices of the Turkish occupation forces and call for:

 1. The immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Turkish forces and their affiliated groups from Afrin and all the Syrian territories they occupy.

 2. Investigations into and exposure of all the violations committed by the Turkish army and the affiliated groups against civilians in Afrin, which has resulted in mass displacement and a humanitarian crisis.

 3. The unconditional release of all the abducted men, women, and children, and the provision of adequate compensations for the victims.

 4. An independent and impartial investigation into the fate of the disappeared; whether they are still alive or have been killed for political or other reasons.

 5. The formation of an independent, impartial, and transparent judicial commission with the participation of representatives from the Syrian Federation for Human Rights, as well as humanitarian and womens’ organizations in Syria. It shall consider all violations committed in Afrin since the beginning of the Turkish aggression on 20 January 2018, and refer perpetrators to local, regional and international courts in order to hold them accountable.

 6. Cooperation with Syrian human rights and civic organizations in their investigations and documentation of the various crimes committed by the Turkish occupying forces and their affiliate groups since the beginning of the Turkish invasion on 20 January 2018, in order to prosecute the perpetrators in International courts.

 7. The safe return of the displaced people of Afrin and the reinstitution of the means to run their own affairs.

 8. The relevant international bodies and institutions to provide all necessary economic and humanitarian assistance to the people in Afrin and the returning displaced people.

 9. Legal and academic documentation and analysis of the racist practices of the occupying Turkish forces, including forced migration, and the deliberate alteration of the demographic throughout the region.

 The European Parliament 28 June 2018

 For information contact

 Kariane Westrheim
Chair, EUTCC
 kariane.westrheim@gmail.com

 Estella Schmid
EUTCC Board member
estella24@tiscali.co.uk

 

 

 

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